Forget what I said last week about not reproducing my hand colored originals. I take it back.
I recently began the huge project of organizing and reworking most of my current images. In some cases, (especially for the flower photographs), I went back to the original scan, and armed with some new Photoshop knowledge and tools, created files that I am feeling pretty good about. It was a lot of work, but I know it was worth it. I replaced every single image on my website with what I believe are higher quality jpgs. These jpgs came from the larger files that I will use for the book and for reproductions (prints) of the originals.
What happened to change my mind? A few things...........First of all, I discovered that I can save money if I simply have images scanned without requiring a printed proof (which comes after they have spent quite a bit of time making adjustments in color, contrast etc.). I usually end up making my own adjustments anyway, so why not just start from the raw scan?
Second, like I mentioned above, the files I have now appear to be of a much higher quality than what I was working with before. The true test will come when I order the next "proof book". More about that later.
Third and probably the most important reason is, I think I was fooling myself into believing I could take any image and create in the computer what my mind was envisioning without hand coloring. I know other people probably can, but I am not that good at Photoshop and the truth is I don't want to spend that much time on the computer. If I throw out the financial and quality issues, I can't think of a good reason to not to have scans made of my hand colored originals.
A picture is worth a thousand words and this image is partially responsible for my change of heart. I hand colored "Morning in the Park" shortly after my trip to Paris in 2009. There are a few more shots from that outing that would make good "mates" to this image. Rather than printing those out as black and white photographs and hand coloring them, I thought I would try to make them look like a set with digital adjustments instead.
I tried for hours and it just didn't work. First I will show the digital version and then the hand colored one.
©Dianne Poinski - digital version
©Dianne Poinski - Hand Colored
This is not the first time I have tossed this idea around, but I always come back and remember that not only do I love the physical act of hand coloring, it's the look and feel of the finished product that makes me happy.
A final note: One thing I am playing around with more is leaving my black and white images alone and not hand coloring them. I am actually participating in a group show in March where I will be showing strictly black and white photographs for the first time in many many years. This was my first love before I started hand coloring, so it seems natural. I am sure I will have more to share about that later, but for now I think I should stop thinking so much and go make art!